April 21

“The caramel macchiato, double-black with cream is what I usually get.”
“And you can sleep afterwards?” he says, eyes wide.
I shrug. “College. Whatcha gonna do?” He seems to accept this, and orders two of the drinks. I grin at Katie; she had been a bit nonplussed when all I ordered was a plain coffee when I came in. “So, the file, then.”
“It’s here.” Bert reaches into the briefcase and pulls out a red manila folder. It’s maybe about a quarter of an inch thick, which is a considerable amount of paper at first glance, but then I realize that some of them are creased, expanding the size of the file just a little bit. “About thirty claims, all paid out, and receipts to match.”
I pick up the folder and start leafing through it. Sure enough, each stapled bundle has a contract, identical in form to the one Kyle had on her, as well as a receipt and a cancelled check. I glance through a couple of them, looking at the dates. “Anything jump out at you?” I ask. “Maybe a pattern in the dates?”
“It looks pretty random,” Bert says. “Started almost as soon as I set foot in 2000. Maybe one out of three get jacked.”

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